In this time I have a favorite pajama shirt with a cartoon woodchuck on it. The cotton fabric’s worn so thin it feels soft on my skin. It has orange sleeves and orange hemming around the neck on the bottom of the shirt. The rest is aged white and then, smack in the center is this cute animal printed in browns, more oranges and red.
I’m wearing it and I’m swinging. I’m swinging outside and it’s dusk and warm. I’m freshly showered. And I’m free.
Of course I don’t know this at the time – I don’t know what it’s like to not be free. I don’t know much, or understand much, but I know I’m happy.
“One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go!” By the time I reach “go!” I’m swinging quite high and I jump – fly high and free through the air and topple to the fresh grass below.
The flight is exhilarating, the landing less than graceful but as a kid it doesn’t matter – you don’t think about the consequence of broken bones. (Goodness knows I had quite a few over the years.) I land and the dog runs over and licks my face. Bandit is his name. A black and white English Springer Spaniel who I LOVE, abso-positively-no-questions-asked LOVE him. (Did I mention I wanted to marry this dog?! I wrote songs about him, the whole nine.)
I run back to the swing, Bandit follows but clears the way as I climb on board. I swing for hours. No career thoughts, no “to-do” list, no worries, no regrets. Just me, the cooling night creeping in with the darkness, a bit of bug repellant and Bandit by my side (or at least a safe distance away). Me and my freshly cleaned, summer-tanned skin in my favorite pjs. Swinging.